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PLEASE NOTE: A vastly improved version of this film made from a 35mm preserved print is available here: http://archive.org/details/Tuesday_in_November
Idealized portrayal of 1944 U.S. presidential election, made to show the world that the United States was sufficiently secure to hold a free and fair election during wartime. Shows campaign activities, efforts to ensure the secrecy of the ballot and fairness of the election, and media coverage of the electoral process, all culminating in a giant nighttime gathering in Times Square where a huge crowd awaits the result. Director: John Houseman. Assistant Director: Nicholas Ray. Animation: John Hubley. Music: Virgil Thomson.
This movie is part of the collection: Prelinger Archives
Producer: U.S. Office of War Information
Audio/Visual: Sd, B&W
Keywords: Political campaigns and elections; Citizenship; Media: Radio
Creative Commons license: Public Domain
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Subject: FDR:Poster Child for Term Limits
4 terms! Seriously? What an awful presidency from trying to pack the Supreme Court to denying black men equal status in WW2 to Yalta (bye bye Poland & Eastern Europe) and that is the least of it in total. A man of marginal character at best. At least he picked Truman for V.P. in '44.
Subject: Familiar Voice
Do my ears betray me or the narrator Jose Ferrer?
Always fun in these 1940s war information films to see all the character actors we've all seen in movies from that era---the Republican and Democratic poll workers must have been in dozens of films....
Subject: An old style election
You have to admit, idealized as it obviously is, the idea of an election, both in ideal, concept and physical operation, is quite amazing. It is too bad there aren't more people like Mrs. Dawson out there to make sure every vote is cast and counted.
Wilford B. Wolf -
Subject: The Democratic Circus
As part of the postwar effort, the United States government produced a series of film to ready the war torn countries of Europe and Asia for setting up American style democracies. This film explains, in simplified terms, the American electorial process, describing such concepts as the secret ballot, and the system of checks and balances. While there is some dated information (references to 48 states, and specific references to the 1944 election), the basic information is still valid, if a bit idealized. Note that such institutions such as the role of labor and other specialized groups in an election are just starting and use of electronic media is still something of a novelity.
Of particular note is the director of the film, attributed by Mr. Prelinger to John Houseman (though the film itself does not give such a credit). Houseman became best known in the 1970s as the spokesperson for Smith-Barney ("the old fashioned way, they earned it") and starring in the movie The Paper Chase. However, Houseman got his start in the 1930s writing and co-producing with Orson Welles' Mercury Theater on radio, stage, and on film (most notably the classic Citizen Kane). As part of the wartime effort, a number of Hollywood types joined the Information Office to produce films. While this film is no Citizen Kane, it is certainly interesting to compare the idealized portrait of an election portrayed here, and the realpolitik that makes up the campaign of Charles Foster Kane.
Subject: Dewey For President!
Very nicely put together short about the intricies of putting an election together in small town America in 1944, we follow a regular office (Campaign buttons off please!) as people stroll in to cast their ballots. We see who the people are voting for (eg the upper house, the lower house) and we also see some fantastic early convention footage. All of this is narrated by your Uncle Ben, the calm one who sat you by the fire and told you stories? Anyways, the narration is calm, which makes you very comfortable and at ease. A surprise! Highly reccomended!
hart noecker -
Subject: Fucking insanity...
So, like, NOW Diebold has to make voting machines that print a piece of paper. Now! How has the lives of billions of people been subject to the wims of a fucking printer? Paper and ink have been forced together for THOUSANDS of years. Why, after cloning animals and traveling to other objects in space, have we just figured out how to print a ballot after a computer records our vote? How many tens of thousands have or will die because of this?
Subject: Be here now
I am afraid this is too complex - why donÂ´t you challenge the present ...?
Subject: America Through Rose-Colored Glasses
A sentimentalized look at Election Day in Riverton, California. Mrs. Dawson, the high school principal, is the small-town matriarch who runs the local polling place and keeps the voting honest. Her presence in this 1944 film reflects how women kept AmericaÂs civic institutions running during World War II.
This film shows the same mythical, small-town America that Norman Rockwell portrayed on the covers of the Saturday Evening Post. The domestic upheaval of the Depression and the war obviously led to a lot of nostalgia for a past that never was, even on the part of the otherwise sophisticated director John Houseman and composer Virgil Thomson. The cities, where elections were messier and more problematic, get shorter shrift in this film. Still, itÂs interesting to note that Election Day was a holiday then. Too bad thatÂs not the case now. And too bad there arenÂt more fair-minded people like Mrs. Dawson around to make sure each vote is counted.
Rick Prelinger -
Subject: Politics the way we were told it was supposed to be
We've traveled quite a way in 60 years.
red sweater -
Subject: better just to read the shot list!
better just to read the shot list!